Pitchfork generalization – introducing the action-reaction lines

Trading with a pitchfork requires selecting three consecutive swing points (trough, peak, trough or the opposite) and then draw the pitchfork and validate it by checking it describes accurately price action in the past, in order to guess price action in the future (aka reaction).

Starting from market structures (see previous post), there are some recommended pitchforks to be used, but sometimes unfortunately the warning lines do not confirm the validity of the pitchfork. There exist hybrid pitchforks which we will study in an other post. For now, we are going to discover the action and reaction lines.

In theory, any price action in the past has a symmetric price reaction in the future, the mirror being the called the center line. Center line can of course be the pitchfork median line you have just drawn, it can be also a high-to-low line (see previous post) or it can be a multi-pivot line, i.e. a straight line that contacts at least 3 swing points (peaks, troughs…), what traders call a slant support or resistance line. Horizontal lines are a non sense for this study, since they only deal with price, and vertical lines also as they only deal with time, but studies show this is not (or no longer) relevant to today’s markets.

Theory continues by saying that any swing point in the past could have its image in the future. To be accurate, the action line passing through a swing point (peak or trough) in the past can be mirrored in the future, and there is a strong chance that a new swing points will sit on this line.

Let’s stop the theory and study an example. We are going to trade RNDR crypto for this example in the 1h time frame.

At this point in time, we have identifed market has bottomed out after a strong downtrend structure. As recommended I have drawn a mini pitchfork of which slope does not make you very comfortable buying this market. I will keep only the median line and will start drawing parallel lines to this median.

The median line is now represented with dotted line and I have drawn parallel to the median that go through peaks and troughs. You have to try, it is very easy! Doesn’t it start looking like a pitchfork with teeths separated in uneven way?

Next exercise is simple. We need to note the distance between the action line and center line (the mini pitchfork median line) and draw the symmetric lines on the opposite side of the median at the same distance!

I have drawn the first reaction line in red color. You will want help by drawing a segment to measure distance and move it or duplicate it to get the right distance to reaction line. Notice that trough 1 is now inside the new ‘pitchfork’ and it is a better looking buy signal. Notice also how this line is perfectly re-tested by the market after going above, which gives validity to this drawing.

We need to the same with other reaction lines! There you go:

Now let’s look at peaks and troughs

I have selected this chart at random, trading it on the fly, I had no assurance this would be a nice example! Look again! Peaks in the past have yielded reaction troughs on the reaction lines, troughs in the past have yielded reaction peaks on the mirroring reaction lines. True enough there are new peaks and troughs that were not anticipated, but remember markets have fractal structure, you could probably have found them by analyzing other time frames!

Please not ealso the accuracy of reaction lines decreases after a dozen re-actions lines. When you have identified a new market structure, better draw a new center and re-do the exercise!

Starting from last 2 center lines, we should have up-sloping and down-sloping action and reaction lines, of which the intersect can yield the exact position of a peak or trough in the future. Which we will see in an other post.

Until then, trade safely!

Pitchfork validation: your most important work before trading!!!

Pitchfork trading is not that tough providing that rules are followed. So far we have covered market structures, how to get a signal from pitchfork, which pitchfork to select based on market structure, and what to expect by knowing about possible market structure that are coming after last pivot or swing point has been confirmed by a signal. Please review previous posts, signal is always given by the exit of a valid pitchfork. But wait… what is a valid pitchfork? This is what we are going to answer in this post.

Let’s start with a story though. When traders say that they trade ‘price action’, it is a non sense, they are trading price reactions. Supports for instance are about price hitting same range of price a few times in the … past! Resistance is the same. A moving average tells you the average price in the timeframe between now and a few days or units of time before. It is expected that prices will bump again or react in the future on these same levels of the past. And why would prices do that?

Reason is self fulfilling prophecy as many traders expect these levels and play accordingly. So they can manage, some with good level of success. But it does not work when market is trending or shows more erratic behavior. Also predictions come in terms of prices, not time, which can be an other issue in flat market. The random walk strategy (see other posts) addresses some of these concerns in adequate manner.

Pitchfork trading takes the problem out of the box. We know there was some market action in the past, which can be shown with market structures. Newton has stated that for each action, there must be a reaction similar and equal. Does this apply to market? Market structures or fractals (by Bill Williams) indicate there is fractal nature or some ‘beauty’ like things in nature. Note that we observe the market in some naive way, not an in the box thinking. Markets are free sort of to move the way they want, but if we push them too much in one direction (pivots), they are likely to revert and move in opposite direction relaxing the energy accumulated in first move. The moves are not (always) equal in price movement, because energy released is based on time, so duration of movement.

Having said that, you will read in many books or other websites you should draw a new pitchfork as soon as you get a new swing point or pivot.

How many of you would draw that pitchfork after, of course validating SP1 with a mini pitchfork and say ‘fine, looks like I can put a Target Price on the median’ maybe at the intersection with some Fibonacci levels???

This pitchfork is just NOT validated!!!! Look, price even gets out of the pitchfork a few candles after your entry (Assume for now you are reasonable and have put a SL below SP1). Let’s see what happened next:

Maybe you managed to take some profits but prices never reached the median. And maybe you are going to short, because prices are supposed to go below SP1 in that case because they did not reach median line? Wrong again:

What happened? A pitchfork is validated if it is tested before going forward (so it fails when prices go below) and pitchfork and its warning lines describe accurately the price action (in the past!)

Here we see some ‘impacts’ but major peaks and troughs are not sitting on pitchfork or warning lines.

Can we improve?

See? I now have major peaks or troughs on the pitchfork itself extended to the past. Pitchfork is now re-tested, and no surprise prices go to median and reverse. There might be other possible or even better solutions. But look at the graph again: price oscillate nicely over either the median or MLH’s, it gives a good feeling you are in sync with the market!

What did I do? I moved the anchor (SP3) of my pitchfork to a previous trough, and I am getting a less sloppy pitchfork, with more trading value. I could even have move the anchor to some unknown price area, thereby entering the realm of hybrid pitchforks. For another time!

Until then, trade safely!

Market structures transitions. Introduction about mini pitchforks

I hope you had some thoughts about the market structures, how they are built and you understand why there is no need to have more figures. Each structure requires the use of specific pitchfork for an efficient trading. But first solution to the proposed exercice. I hope you had fun and did some drawing on a table, result should look like that:

On second thought, there may some transitions missing here. I will let you find out…

There are a few points to remember from this study:

  • When market is is consolidation mode, it can consolidate even more (the circling back for bottom figure)
  • A trending market can move into consolidation without notice
  • Reversal structures don’t end up in flat market

Let’s move now to mini pitchfork subject. On the following gold chart, I selected 4 swing points that describe an unstable market. If you refer to previous post, I can use a mini-pitchfork to get a buy signal.

As you can see, I have selected minor peaks and troughs on the path from SP2 to SP1. I can’t say it is the most relevant choice but if you look at warning lines, prices are indeed stopped or pause before continuing their path.

On the following example, it is not so obvious, but I used the extreme price at the end of wicks to create my pitchfork. An other way to trace it is going down to lower time frame so you get bigger waves….

Sometimes it is not possible to identify minor peaks or troughs, so we work it out manually. You may draw warning or you can attemps using the pitchfork tool to overlay your DIY pitchfork: select first SP on the HL line, take SP2 on upper line, and SP3 on lower line and it should do the trick

The way to use mini pitchfork is similar to other pitchfork. We will see many examples in future posts.

Until then, trade safely.

Pitchfork trading: market structure and pitchfork selection

I hope you have gone through previous post and especially its exercise!

The solution to this exercise will lead us to market structure definition and will pave the way to selecting the right pitchfork for the right market configuration.

Exercise reminder: We consider the last 4 swing points, start with a peak SP4. SP3 being a trough is below SP4. SP2 is above SP3 and SP1 is below SP2. Easy?

Now if I am looking from the outside, how many figures can these make? That was the question!!! Try it by yourself on a piece of paper. SP2 can be above or below SP4. SP1 can be above or below SP3. Figures are obtained by linking SP4 and SP2 by a straight line, SP3 and SP1 by an other line. Eventually we can only make SIX different geometrical figures!!! Think and draw a bit more!!!

Here they are:

Figure 1 – Bubbling market
Figure 2 – Unstable market
Figure 3 – Reversal market
Figure 4 – Counter trend market
Figure 5 – Flat market
Figure 6 – Strong trending market

That is all there is to market structure. Channel with parallel lines are exceptions, as they comply to 2 of these figures. Note you get exactly same figures in the bearish case. You don’t need to remember hundreds of figures :-)))

I recommend that you give names to these figures, whatever they can make you think of, so you can refer to them more easily.

Exercise!!!! Now that you know all possible structure, can you draw a diagram of transition between figures? E.g. starting from figure 2, which I usually call unstable market, what are the possible next ones?

The knowledge of question just above is important. Because we all hate flat markets (figure 5) but as you will figure out easily, flat market can consolidate even more (figure 5 can transistion to another figure 5) while an unstable market (figure 2) will always lead to directional market (check it out!!)

Now here revealed exclusively to readers of this blog are the pitchforks you need to select for each market structure to get buy signal as explained in previous posts.

What are those mini pitchforks? How do we draw them? Plenty of open questions which we will see in next lessons with plenty of illustrations!

In the meantime, trade safely!

Pitchforking as a trading system – The basics

Andrew Pitchforks are not just a ‘channel’ type, they are a very accurate trading and market anticipation technique with no equivalent. I will focus today on the basic usage, laying out a basic pitchfork on a chart, getting a buy or short signal, getting confirmation, placing stops and estimating some target areas. Big agenda, isn’t it?

Let’s start immediately. Open a chart and select the last 4 peaks and troughs that must alternate. If you are not sure, you can use fractals or oscillators that go above and below zero, even average. Your eyes are also a good indicator :-))) Don’t worry about having the ‘right’ pivot points, each set of pivot have a story to say and Dr Andrew never put rules to select these points. We will see in other posts how to validate a pitchfork, that is more advanced discussion.

As a beginner pitchfork trader, make sure you the 4 pivots you selected form a wedge, like this:

ALICEUSDT 1h Chart

Note the numbering. Last pivot is always called for 4.

Now we can draw our first pitchfork by selecting pivots 1, 2 and 3:

ALICEUSDT with Pitchfork

Pitchfork is made median line, 2 median lines high (MLH) parallel to median lines. Line 1-3 is called Hagopian line. Note that both median and Hagopian line are slopping down.

Buy Signal. The basic buy signal is when prices (a full candle) exit the pitchfork. Easy!

Confirmation After exiting the pitchfork, prices usually retest the MLH, which can also be a good entry point.

More secured entry An other possible entry is after breaking the Hagopian line. Note that it can be retested as well before price actually start going up.

Stop Loss – Assume pivot 4 as a good level for stop loss for now

Target Price Case 1. When price don’t reach the median line like in our case, it is expected that prices will go back to pivot 3 level with 80% confidence, and possibly much higher.

Target Prices Case 2. We draw parallel lines to median line. Like this:

Pitchfork with parallel lines

Then we draw a new pitchfork by selecting pivots 2, 3 and 4.

ALICE USDT with 2 pitchforks

That is the trick now! Assuming both pitchfork are valid (more in future post), the intersections of MLH, medians and warning lines are potential target prices, defined with also a timing!!! You can say price should reach this price by this time wiht pretty good accuracy.

Let’s look into the future:

ALICEUSDT – Pitchfork intersections

As you can see, price went up though it did not reach pivot level (80% probability only!). I went beyond the median anyway. Because pivot 4 was not a the median (remember the hybrid pitchfork?), intersections are not accurate here.

That is the basic story. Hope you noted the assumptions. We have to study what to do when pivots do not form a wedge, how to validate a pitchfork, etc, etc…

In the meantime, please trade safely.

The pitchfork family – choose your tool for trading!

If you are onto trading, pretty sure you have heard about Andrew pitchforks which finance barely describes as a channel tool. As long as prices are inside a channel, the slope of the pitchfork indicates the trend and you should open positions only in direction of the trend.

That is a very limited and biased view of Andrew pitchforks, which is a complete trading system (with signals, stop, target prices…). True enough, it is hard to master and extremely difficult to automate. Moreover pitchforks are only the simplied view of action-reaction lines already mentioned in this blog. To make it more complicated, Dr Alan Andrew never revealed in written form at least all the secrets of this trading system. I think I have uncovered many of them, and these will be revealed to you in coming posts!

I assume now you know a bit about Andrew pitchforks and will introduce you to the family. For a safe start, you select 3 consecutive pivot points and draw a basic pitchfork:

Basic Pitchfork

You may also know the Schiff or 50% pitchfork

Schiff Pitchfork

But do you know these ones?

The reverse pitchfork
The mini-pitchfork
Hybrid pitchfork – Hanging or virtual pivot 3 while real pivot 3 sits on a warning line
Hybrid pitchfork with hanging pivot 1

All these pitchforks can be used on any chart any time frame. Your goal is to know WHEN to use each one pending on market conditions. Which we will see in later posts.

Trading re-ignited. Will you join?

I started this blog during first containment. I was still trading stocks at that time. Was only stock swing trading over several weeks. Truth is, without leverage, a small stock portfolio will not make a lot more wealthy, even dividends included and re-invested.

So it took me time to to think about intraday trading, porting some ideas, optimizing… While there will be some posts here from time to time, all the action takes place in Telegram group mentioned in post just below. If you liked the blog, please make sure to come and talk.

All we need is a big blue swam bringing hope back home!

You know what? Communism has failed. Ecologist predictions of last 50 years have all failed. Big pharma have failed to find a vaccine against AIDS. Titanic has failed to cross Atlantic Ocean. Napoleon has failed creating a kind of European union. Romans have failed to keep their Empire together.

History is full of miserable failures but we don’t seem to learn from our mistakes. Nassim Taleb has found that somehighly improbable events ending up with drastic consequences could be due to a black swam. The idea behind if that you have never seen a black swam, you probably doubt they exist, not talking about predicting their showing up!

Was Covid a black swam? If you are a bit interested in big pharma history, you would know how they work. Their life would be very boring without epidemics, or even better pandemics where one can start making very good business with medicine, vaccine, medicine to cope with vaccine adverse reactions, improved vaccines, new medicine even long after the virus have completely disappeared. Since pandemics do not show up that often, it is best to create them, or at least let know all of us that there is one potentially very harming lurking by the corner of the street. This is what happened with AIDS, they said it was discovered in San Francisco, without giving any details, and then people started to get feared… fortunately this time, they could find a sellable vaccine. But how many times did they try? H1N1, Spanish Flu, …. No Covid is not a black swam, it has been long clear enough big pharma would try an other time to make big money!

Now if black reminds you of dark times, of morbidity, of whatever ghost stories, … all we need now is a big blue swam of hope!

Let’s be honest. Black swams are not that common but blue ones are even more rare, they will only show up if we all want it to appear!

Blue color is about hope, a bright future, water and sky, peacefulness, it brings positive values and tends to relax the eyes (try it, look at a blue sky!). We don’t want to talk black things any more: illness, death, mysterious societies, … As long as we play their game, they have the winning cards. If we have a strong positive message, they will be just ignored. Let me take one example: many doctors and health care workers have lost their job for rightfully rejecting the jab. What about they start a new life preventing people for becoming sick? Even communist party in China in the 1950’s pushed people to practice taichi chuan so that country is full of healthy people (that was before McDonald arrived in China). There is a lot to be built upon, it is not even secret!

Now let’s see if there is some positive news on the market!

S&P500 seems to be taking a bearish turn. The smoothed ROC has turned negative but careful there are hidden divergence (which I am therefore not showing ;-)) We have to stay optimistic!

Just look at how nice the S&P500 has sticked to the dotted warning line on this weekly chart. If index returns to green line (the random walk path), everyone can understand the bullish trend is intact.

Bitcoin chart is unchanged. I have seen many Hoorays with last days price action, but be careful!

Gold is still is in a flat market. Let’s look at weekly chart just below. As long as the price is enclosed in the green area, you can take the opportunity to accumulate. Price is probably kept under control by institutions which think we are stupid enough and won’t buy gold at this price! You bet! Inflation is here, hyper-inflation will come sooner or later, we will see an other big financial failure, and everybody knows having gold is the safest way to go through any crisis. We have a second solution which is Bitcoin, I will write something about it in an other post.

Uranium is one of them ressources to have these days, so I wrote a few weeks ago. It has gone up to one my highest warning lines. Now it is back to random walk path which is undoubtedly a nice entry area. As explained previously, wind farms and solar panels won’t do the work!

Platinium may wake up in coming weeks. Divergence with smoothed ROC, hitting the first warning line and buy signals on short term indicator. We are almost there.

That’s it for today. Aim at that blue swam! And until next time, trade safely!

Inflation? Hyper-inflation? No, a conspiracy theory!

Have you noticed any inflation? Pasta price up, gaz price up, … Everything you can buy, price seems to go up! According to IMF, it is only temporary and if you say otherwise, you are a conspiracy theorist! I must be one then :-))

Covid Kingdom is still under construction and they want each and all of us to participate in this exciting new adventure where a few people own everything and you get nothing, you will be enslaved to your master. There is one thing however that will make them fail: they are extremely bad economists, they are playing with the money and the money is exploding right now into hyper inflation fireworks, which will signify the end of the game not too far away! Get Gold, get bits of Bitcoin and you should be safe.

Bulls are still out there, because plenty of cash is there so only few industrial constraints prevent from going higher faster. This is what we see on Semi Conductor index:

Price Channel have no specific sense but you see that the one I draw is in sync with medium and long term indicators. Only short term shows weakness. Silicium might be missing so companies like Qualcomm will only increase their selling price while waiting to manufacture more. There can still be a drop to 3000, which be a good oppoortunity to invest, especially in light of 5G deployments.

Coming back for a second on inflation, you can see below that ground coffee price has just doubled in 2021. Here is the deal: consider how many coffee you drink in a year, do you yourself a favor by buying stocks of a coffee company, they give dividends so you get free coffee!

I always mention oil on this blog, because without oil, our society will just stop! No more cars, no more plastic, … Green electricity will not replace oil. Take a note: green electricity will not replace oil. NEVER!

Crude oil is up 10% since last post. Good for your portfolio. Of course, you need to have many stocks of Exxon, BP, … if you want them to pay oil for your car with dividends. At least, it may buy you extra free coffee!

If you wonder why gaz is more and more expensive, just look at the chart: +128% since Jan 1st! This is not going to stop any time soon. Windfarms are deployed everywhere, but since wind is not a continuous supply, then you need a gas power plant to manage electrical grid. Gas supply being limited by other geopolitical issues, price can only go up!

Last one for today is Bitcoin. BTC is still quietly hanging around, gathering ressources for the next leg. This next leg will be up towards 100k$. That is because of wider adoption (Salvadore, …), it is safer than fiat money, it does not have a country (miners can hop to new country any time), transactions costs become faster and cheaper with Lightning network. While I expect price will go down to 35k$, I am waiting for this cheap entry!

That’s it for today. Until next time, trade safely!